Sunday, August 16, 2020

Day 160 Nat'l Emergency: Voting Edition—Jewish Voters, Minority Voters, Mail-in Voters

 You gotta hand it to political junkies. They’ll look for any trick to tie in support for their preferred candidate.

Take the Jewish voter. In important swing states, such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and even Arizona, Jews could shade each state blue or red.

Here’s where some Jewish “pilpul” comes in. For the uninitiated, pilpul, according to the dictionary, “is a method of disputation among rabbinical scholars regarding to the interpretation of Talmudic rules and principles or Scripture that involves the development of careful and often excessively subtle distinctions.”

There can hardly be a more subtle exegesis than the argument that God is on the side of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Why? Because their surname initials, B and H, written together as B’’H, are shorthand for a phrase many observant Jews place at the top of anything they write. It stands for “Be-ezrat Hashem,” which means, with God’s help or with God’s strength. Some translate it to be “Be-irshut Hashem,” with God’s permission. Either way, God is invoked as a positive presence.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence might claim solid evangelical Christian support, but Biden-Harris could be a signal from God to Jews to vote Democratic.

Speaking of Jewish voters, pundits are wondering what the impact of the Trump-brokered peace accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will be on their choice for president.

They can stop wondering. Those who already favored Trump will continue to believe he is the harbinger of the messiah.

Those who vote based on a candidate’s total résumé—which in Trump’s case includes culpability for tens of thousands of needless deaths because of his mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, his demeaning, bullying, lying, misogynistic, egotistical manner, his xenophobia—will choose Biden who is a mensch and has been a stalwart supporter of Israel.

Mail Call: Trump says mail-in ballots are prone to fraud. Of course, that hasn’t stopped him from requesting his own mail-in ballot from Florida.

Trump claims in-person voting is safer from fraud than mail-in systems. Yet, for the 2016 New Hampshire results, Trump asserted hordes of Massachusetts voters crossed the border into the Granite state to cast votes for Hillary Clinton, depriving him of victory there.

In other words, no method of voting is safe and secure from fraud, according to the man who cannot tell anything but a lie.

I’m sure he has an easy solution—just forget about voting and leave him in office for perpetuity, which is what his former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, in his new book, alleges Trump really wants.

Black Votes Matter: Every word that Biden and Harris say about minority communities is being parsed by Trump and his surrogates. Trump wants their votes by touting his economic underpinning of minority businesses and improved employment prospects.

Those arguments might have had traction before 2020, but since the coronavirus pandemic hit Trump has been a “war time president” overseeing and ignoring devastation within minority communities in terms of deaths, illnesses, lost jobs and shuttered businesses. Black and Latino populations have been hurt by COVID-19 on a greater proprortional basis than Whites.

Back in 2016 he publicly challenged Blacks to support him by asking, “What have you got to lose?” Apparently, their lives, the lives of loved ones, their jobs and their businesses. As minorities often fill non professional jobs in essential businesses such as mass transportation and healthcare facilities, they are more exposed to COVID-19 than the general population.

Mail Call II: For sure I have been focused on Trump’s attempt to undermine voting rights by destabilizing the Postal Service’s ability to deliver mail-in ballots in a timely manner. Like many of you, most of my outbound and inbound communications are internet borne, so I didn’t take his actions too personally as they pertained to ordinary mail.

I didn’t zero in on an important function the Postal Service  provides—delivering prescriptions, many of them life-saving medications—to countless Americans.

I casually sympathized with their plight until I realized, hey, wait a minute. I get my diabetes, prostate and blood pressure meds through the mail!

Trump is trying to kill me and millions of others by mucking up delivery of life-sustaining medications. If not outright kill us, at the very least he is creating unneeded anxiety in our lives.

Sadly, while Trump’s actions might be morally indefensible they apparently fall within the legal powers of a president. Our only response is to vote in overwhelming numbers, in person and by mail.